Steve von Till Announces European Live Dates

stevevontill

 

Neurosis guitarist/vocalist and Neurot Recordings founder, Steve von Till, reveals a string of European live dates in support of his latest solo album, the immense and celestial, A Life Unto Itself. From June 29th through July 5th, Steve von Till will trek through the UK, Germany and France.

 

Steve von Till Solo Shows:

6/29/2015 St Pancras Old Church – London, UK

7/01/2015 Jägerklause – Berlin, DE

7/02/2015 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE

7/03/2015 Jubez – Karlsruhe, DE

7/04/2015 La Peniche – Lille, FR

7/05/2015 Espace B – Paris, FR

Steve von Till – As The Crow Flies

steve_von_till-as_the_crow_fliesIt is one thing to become acknowledged within your genre as a leader. It is still another to reach outside that genre, and become more than an artist, but a sage.

A sage is part explainer of the past, part philosopher and part artist who makes the future seem full of interest and beauty. No matter how long someone labors in popular music, they will eventually desire to become the village sage, because that is a position above entertainer. It is a trusted voice that is a guide for culture.

Steve von Till rose to fame with Neurosis, whose music he took far beyond hardcore into the realm of psychedelic and experimental music. With this re-issue of his solo album from 2000, we can hear his voice develop from rage and ambiguity to a desire to reform culture itself. This acoustic guitar album shapes itself from simple melodies and muttered, droning vocals melded into slow atmospheric songs.

As The Crow Flies attempts to create a folk music out of the postmodern time, having let the ashes of dystopia fall. These songs are sentimental and emotional, but not in the cloyingly insistent way that pop must be. Instead, like the music of Tom Waits or Dead Can Dance, songs try to nail the feeling of a particular time in life and galvanize us toward both clarity and an amorphous desire to surpass the past.

von Till carefully paces the album so that songs appear in a varied order, using additional instruments sparsely to differentiate themselves, such that mood is not broken but slowly changes like a banner twisting in a nearly-becalmed afternoon wind. These are songs both unexpected and familiar which wring out of our decaying age a new reason to believe in the emotional power of living, and that makes As The Crow Files a success of a different color.

Von – Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves

von-dark_gods_seven_billion_slavesVon gained fame for the ultra-minimalist droning 1990s album Satanic Blood which raged forth in three-note songs that resembled air raid sirens of the soul going off in an infinite night of bestial darkness.

Returning after a long hiatus, the band conjure up Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves to bring us the greatest of rarities in metal: an honestly experimental album. Most “experimental” albums involve recycling avant-garde and progressive rock themes of the 1970s, but there isn’t anything at all like this album.

Perhaps recognizing that repeating the past would be tame, Von have instead chosen to make a form of ritual music that sounds like a collision between black metal, later Danzig and a horror movie soundtrack. The songs are just as simple but more musical, and are generally played more slowly but have a stronger sense of developing theme.

Like a soundtrack, these songs are designed to fade into the background and influence mood rather than command attention. Much like a few repeated notes signal a dark theme ahead in a movie, these songs use very similar melodies to horror movie soundtracks and presage a limitless and expanding fear. The mood is similar to Profanatica‘s Profanatitas de Domonatia or Demoncy‘s Enthroned is the Night. Much as in a horror movie we watch the characters go into the room where evil lurks, or prepare to yank aside the curtain covering what they fear, this album exudes a menacing sense of impending and inexorable threat.

Percussion works in a way that is rarely seen outside of opera. Its timekeeping functions are present when the music is uptempo, but for slower pieces it forms pure mood, a clomping footstep like the tread of an executioner. Guitars play very similar patterns repeatedly and nearly constantly, but are frequently overlaid with background chaotic noise that like distortion itself brings out submerged harmonics and gives the music added body and menace.

Melodies themselves sound like horror movie music tinged with the more listenable vein of occult or dark rock, sounding sometimes like Danzig’s later works and sometimes like the Sisters of Mercy. They fit together well and evoke moods clearly and strongly, which makes this album more interesting for repeated listens than Satanic Blood. The ritual nature of the pacing of song development, coupled with the uncanny ability that vocals had on the first album to trigger a sense of dread and despair by offsetting rhythm like an attacker outside the law, builds momentum behind this atmosphere.

Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves is going to take many by surprise. It’s sparse, meaning that it’s not a constant wall of sound; it is often slower and more theatrical; it is complex in that many simple riffs together tell a story more than cyclic complex riffs can. It is experimental, in that while this style could be called black metal, there’s a lot more going on, but unlike “kitchen sink” bands who throw in other genres at random, everything here is fused into one consistent and expressive style.

While this may not deliver conventional metal thrills, Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves shapes its minimalistic riffs into a changing atmosphere of morbid curiosity and onrushing fear. The result is overwhelming, like a vision of hell brought to earth, and with its convoluted and esoteric patterns shows us darkness revealing itself before our eyes, while we stare at the screen too scared to scream.

Antifa Attack Police and Shutdown Messe des Morts

hail-satan-not-heil-hitler

Antifascist terrorists attacked the police protecting the Messe des Morts festival in Montreal on Saturday in response to Graveland, Mgła, and Forteresse playing, who the terrorist all accuse of being Neo-Nazis who wanted to violate Montreal’s safe space. The leftist terrorists purchased tickets to the sold out festival on the second-hand market, infiltrated the crowd wearing ski masks, and threw smoke grenades at the entrances. The antifa terrorists attacked the police who were supposed to be protecting the venue, artists, and concertgoers from their planned protest. One of the “protesters” turned terrorists was Alexandre Boulerice, federal MP for the New Democratic Party in the Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie riding. The police ended up shutting down the festival for “safety reasons”.

Continue reading Antifa Attack Police and Shutdown Messe des Morts

Antaeus – Condemnation (2016)

antaeus-condemnation
Article contributed to Death Metal Underground by Max Bloodworth.

Prior releases from Antaeus displayed an alien weltschmerz like an outsider looking into the world and finding nothing of value. It had an air of royalty as well as an air of embarrassment in its simplicity. Intuitive destruction of an end-in-itself, the music delivered a perspicacious view of the bleakness embodied in the microcosm and macrocosm, with the nature of man clinging onto its pitiful existence. Ultimately the value of such an inquiry is in the unraveling of itself to the threshold of exhaustion, then being untoward to the world-as-it-is as its conclusion. Such bold statements of violence to humanity and to the self led to its unique logogenesis which thrusted them above most of their peers as a more realized and apt style of music like Von. Antaeus had the face of an outsider in a sea of complacent faces.

Continue reading Antaeus – Condemnation (2016)

Demoncy – Faustian Dawn (1993, reissued 2016)

demoncy-faustian-dawn-reissue-cover
Article by Lance Viggiano.

A minor boost- so as not to be outdone by diminishing financial returns – in fidelity reveals that the tonal direction which Demoncy would use to conjure the singularity known as Joined in Darkness had begun to break through the thin trebly aether early on. Faustian Dawn sees a young mage wielding uncharacteristic competence during its initiatory rites; though not without a share of exuberant amateurism. Drawing from the tomes of Von, Beherit and Profanatica – the track “As Tears of Blood Stain the Altar of Christ” makes an appearance here re-titled – Demoncy finds itself offering a unique vision which recalls primordial humans cloaked by tawdry rags locked away from evolution by a compulsory participation in invocatory rites amidst humid rather than the more characteristically frigid backgrounds.

Continue reading Demoncy – Faustian Dawn (1993, reissued 2016)

Demoncy – Faustian Dawn Reissue Out August 15th

Demoncy early 90s

Nuclear War Now! Productions announced that their remastered version of Demoncy’s Faustian Dawn demo from 1993 will be out on CD August 15th with LP two months later on October 15th. The sound was remastered by Ixithra himself and a new cover created by Chris Moyen. Expect a review from our staff shortly too.

Continue reading Demoncy – Faustian Dawn Reissue Out August 15th

Magrudergrind – II (2016)

magrudergrind2_1500

So famous that you might’ve just heard of them right now for the first time. Magrudergrind is back after a hiatus with an album that makes a potent case for keeping simplicity tightly under wraps so that we don’t risk every band with half a half-hearted interest in songwriting nabbing it from the medicine cabinet and hoarding it all for themselves.

I don’t exactly listen to much straight up ‘grindcore’, which adds to the holes in my listening experience, but II sounds pretty much like what I’d expect any half-proficient band in the genre to put out. It’s understandably a little slicker than most of the formative efforts in the genre (Napalm Death, Carcass, Repulsion, etc.), although from what I’ve heard this album trades in some of the bits of schlock comedy that “distinguished” previous Magrudergrind content from its contemporaries for more standard, basic, banal grindcore. On some scales, this is really a perfect 5/10 album; it’s exactly what I expected aesthetically, it does nothing particularly interesting, and it doesn’t even have the temerity to offend me even slightly lest I end up shaming Magrudergrind on the internet; does this sound like anybody we know? II is basically the equivalent of a blank cassette waiting to be recorded to for the first time, but like most albums of little musical merit, we can at least learn a few lessons from the circumstances surrounding it.

As I hinted at in the intro, Magrudergrind’s latest is a very simplistic album that isn’t far removed from the starkest, most deconstructive efforts in its genre. The problem working in such a limited palette is that most of the time, it’s only a sign of low effort; it takes surprising amounts of skill, ambition, or at least luck, to cut down your music and still retain some shred of coherence and communicative value. Grindcore, as a genre, is especially vulnerable to the dark side of these tendencies; once you reach maximum violence and intensity there isn’t much left to do in the confines of the genre. The various famous bands of the genre all found their coping mechanisms; I’m personally most familiar with Carcass’s rapid pivot towards pop music. Magrudergrind’s, on the other hand, was apparently to go on hiatus for a few years and then return when everyone had forgotten not only them, but also the very knowledge that they had forgotten about Magrudergrind.